The pellet grill is the “star” of barbecue today and rightly so. Pellet grills have attracted a group of grillers that probably would never think or have a desire to try their hand at barbecue.
So, Why are Pellet Grills so Popular Today:
Ease of operation
No fire management—set & forget
The ability to smoke & grill
Less mess than charcoal or wood
Less clean up
Economical to operate
With Wi-Fi they can be controlled remotely
Accurately hold temp within 10 degrees
Heat up fast
Gas Grill vs. Pellet Grill:
Pellet grills usually cost more than gas grills and may not sear as well as gas.
Grill Grates solve that problem
For busy young couples with kids, it is a much easier alternative to charcoal & wood fired systems.
Pellet grills are no different than any other grill or smoker. They require the same care and maintenance. So, with that being said, here are some tips.
Pellet grills are fairly easy to clean-
- A shop vac works best
- We recommend vacuuming after two cooks (follow the manufacturer’s recommendation)
- Foil the drip pan for easier cleanup
- You can minimize cooking grate cleaning by cooking in foil pans
- Occasionally, wipe off the temperature probe in the cook chamber
- Pellets are like charcoal, they will absorb moisture
- Store open and unopen pellets in a dry place
- If the grill is inactive for a week or two remove the pellets from the hopper and store in a container with a tight lid
- If the grill is stored outside the pellets will be prone to moisture absorption faster than if stored in a garage or shed
- If the grill is stored outside, it is necessary to invest in a cover
- When filling the hopper, pour ¾ of the bag into the hopper then hand fill the remaining ¼. All pellet bags will have dust in the bottom and if moisture is absorbed there is the potential of clogging the auger and throwing temps off
- Over time you should be able to estimate how much it will take to fill the hopper for each cook. This will allow you to use the amount of pellets needed so you don’t have a lot of excess in the hopper
- Clogs will affect temperature consistency. Wild wings in temps are indicative of a possible clog
- If you end up with a clog, remove the pellets and vacuum the hopper
- Check the burn box for any pellets and remove
- Run the auger to remove the clog
- Discard the damp pellets and re-fill the hopper with dry pellets
- Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for start-up
- On initial start-up, it is not uncommon for the temperature to “spike up”. The computer is syncing to the temperature set and auger speed. Give it time to settle in.
- During the cook, you will see 5 degrees or more fluctuations. This is not uncommon. There is no grill, smoker or oven that keeps an exact temp during the cooking process. They will all cycle up and below your set temperature. When you average it all out it should be close to your selected temp.
- We recommend purchasing 20# bags of pellets since they will be used up faster than 40# bags. If you opt for larger bags you will have to make certain they are stored in a dry place when partially open.
- Purchase various flavors and blend them for a broader flavor profile. An easy formula is 60%-75% hardwood to 40%-25% fruitwood. Mix them thoroughly in a separate container
- We rate pellet smoke intensity from the most to the least as follows: 1) Mesquite 2) Hickory 3) Pecan 4) Oak 5) Cherry 6) Apple 7) Maple 8) Peach
These recommendations are suggested due to our experience with cooking on pellet grills. We cook on every piece of equipment we sell so we can better advise you.
Keep your grill clean and follow these recommendations and you should have trouble-free cooks. If you need us, just give us a call.
“May The LARD Be With You”
Yield: Serves10 Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 1 hr.
1-#10 Can Precooked Potatoes.*
32 oz. Chicken Broth.
1-Stick of Unsalted Butter.
3 Tb-Obie Que Double Garlic Pepper.
Open potatoes and pour off the water.
Place potatoes in a half aluminum pan.
Add chicken broth, butter, and Double Garlic Butter.
Bring your grill or smoker up to approximately 275 degrees.
Place the pan on the cooker uncovered.
If you are cooking on a gas or charcoal grill cook indirect.**
If cooking on a smoker place on a cooking grate.**
Cook for one hour and serve.
* #10 potatoes can be found at Sam’s. Your supermarket will smaller cans so buy two.
**On a gas grill add a smoke tube or GrillKicker to add smoke.
**On a smoker add a couple chunks of wood.
STANDING RIB ROAST RECIPE
Yield: 8 servings Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 2.0 to 2.5 hours
1 (8 lb.) Choice or Choice Certified Angus Beef
Charcoal grill or smoker-2 (2″x 3″) piece of hickory or pecan wood
Gas grill-use GrillKicker or pellet tube
2 Tb Obie Que’s Double Garlic Pepper
2 Tb of Smokin Guns Hot
2 Tb Meadow Creek Black Pepper Brisket Rub
Remove all fat
Season in the order listed above (layer on each other-do not mix)
Place in a pan, tent with foil and place in the fridge overnight
Bring the your grill or smoker temp up to 275 degrees (add the wood or pellet tube)
Allow the wood or pellets to burner for 10 mins.
Put the rib roast on grill straight from the fridge
Temp periodically in the center (away from the bones) until you reach an internal temp of 125-128 degrees
Remove from the grill, tent with foil and allow to rest for 15 mins and serve
Yield: 8 servings Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 1.75 to 2.25 hours*
1 (12 lb.) whole turkey (spatchcocked)
Charcoal grill or smoker-2 (2″x 3″) piece of sugar maple wood (apple or any fruit also works well)
Gas grill-use GrillKicker or pellet tube
1/4 cup of Butcher Bird Booster
2 cups of water
1/4 lb. unsalted butter
- Mix injection in accordance to the label
- Spatchcock the turkey
- Have the legs facing away from you. Inject evenly from front to back with the grain of the meat. Inject each side of the breast evenly in 3 places. You will see the breast rise as you inject. Inject each thigh twice and inject the legs once or twice.
- Season the turkey, place in a pan, tent with foil and place in the fridge overnight. (note-for small birds 4 to 6 hours is enough)
- Bring the grill or smoker up to 300 to 325 degrees
- Place wood in grill or smoker
- Let the wood burn for 15 mins. before putting the turkey on to allow the smoke to clean up (white blue color)
- Prior to placing the turkey on the grill or smoker, inject the with melted butter in the same manner as the injection (note-allow the butter to cool slightly before injecting and get it on the preheated grill right away)
- Place breast side up
- Base a couple of times throughout the cook with melted butter or simply spray with “I Can’t Believe It’s Butter”
- When breast temp hits 165 degrees or higher (we bring to 170 to 175) remove from the grill and tent with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes and serve
*If you do not spatchcock the turkey your cook time will be extended so then figure approximately 1hr/4lbs.
Lard Have Mercy!!
Meats are done only when they are cooked to the proper published temperatures. No excuses!
For certain meats such as pork butts and briskets once the meat hits its safe temperature then we use feel but only to judge tenderness.
We monitor cooking grate temperature for an indication when the meat may be done and to ascertain if we are cooking too hot or too low. For example, an 8 to 9 lbs. pork butt will take 7 to 8 hours to cook at 275 degrees. Knowing this helps with planning.
General Anatomy of Meat
Meat is made up of 75% water which is myowater.
The reddish liquid you see in pre-packaged meat is not blood. It is myo water (myoglobin). Blood is drained from the animal at the time of slaughter.
There is good fat and bad fat, bad meaning it does nothing to help produce good results.
The fat that is in between the muscle fibers also known as marbling is good fat and for certain meats, it is an indication of its quality. The fat that is on top of a brisket or pork butt, for example, does nothing to help our cook.
What bad fat does is:
It extends our cooking time since we have to cook it along with the muscle.
Seasoning the fat cap does nothing but waste seasoning (I don’t know anyone that will just decide to eat fat because it’s seasoned).
The theory that the fat will “meld” and make the meat tender and juicy is an old wives tale. Fat is grease and the meat is water. Grease and water NEVER mix.
The fat cap will prevent the process of developing a smoke ring.
The use of compound butter will “amp up” your flavor profile for steaks, seafood, vegetables etc. These butters add a savory element to the taste of almost any meats. This process is so simple and once you taste it you will never cook without it. Place a slice on or two on a steak, lobster tail or just about anything you put on the grill and enjoy!
Recipes courtesy of Danielle Bennet’s book “Diva Q’s Barbecue” a must read for the serious griller
Use unsalted butter for all three.
Blue Cheese Butter
2 tbsp crumbled blue cheese
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic smashed
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 finely ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime zest & juiced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 finely ground black pepper
Soften butter a 1/4 # butter
Add flavors and whip to evenly distribute
Place the compounded butter on wax paper and roll into a log
Place in the fridge to harden
Once chilled it can be cut into slices
We all at one time or another have purchased store made slaw to throw on the table with the great barbecue we spent a good part of the day cooking. Your “Q” is great and the slaw is at best mediocre. Any mediocre sides can take away from a great cook. Now, when you think about coleslaw it really doesn’t take that much effort to prepare compared to others. So, here’s a recipe we hope you find delicious. Simple & Easy.
This recipe makes a 1/2 pan
1 jar of Historic BBQ Sweet Vinegar Dressing
1 cup of Mayonnaise
1 tbsp of Plowboy’s Bovine Bold (to taste)
1/4 cup Myron Mixon’s Honey Smoked BBQ Sauce
2 large bags of coleslaw.
Combine all ingredients in a full size disposal pan (larger makes mixing easier) and let sit in the fridge for 2 hours before serving.
“Call the stores for purchasing the above products since we are prohibit by some of the manufacturer’s to advertise & sell their products on our website”
At GrillBillies we love pork belly. So much so we think it is the best cut of meat on the pig. Tender, juicy and loaded with flavor, you can’t get much better. If you want to take a step into decadence then try this pork slider recipe. WOW, look out burgers, brisket, pulled pork–we have a “new guy on the grill”. This recipe is simple and can be easily cooked in a smoker, gas or charcoal grill (use indirect method) or in the oven. Introduce some apple wood or pellets to give a slight smoky taste. Chow down folks, you’re going to love it.
- Pork Belly (usually range from 5 to 7 lbs.)
- Vegetable Oil
- Obie’s Double Garlic Pepper
- Smokin’ Guns Mild
- Cimarron Doc Sweet Rib Rub
- Apple Wood Chunks or Apple Pellets
Cooking temperature: 275 to 300 degrees.
Approximate cooking time: 3 to 3.5 hours (though check at the 2.5 hr. mark)
Note: If you are on a gas or charcoal grill, use the indirect cooking method.
- Apply a light coat of vegetable oil to both sides of the belly (helps the seasonings to stick).
- Apply a light coat of Obie Cue’s Double Garlic Pepper
- Apply a medium coat of Smokin’ Guns Mild
- Apply a medium coat of Cimarron Doc Sweet Rib Rub
- If possible, let sit in the fridge overnight
- Fire up your smoker or grill bring up to temp and add wood (smoker) or pellets (gas grill, best put in a smoker tube or wrap in tin foil)
- Put the belly on a rack with a pan underneath
- Place the belly in the cooker
- When it reaches an internal temp of 190 degrees or higher, apply a medium coat of Holy Smoke Sweet Sauce and put back in the cooker for another 10 to 15 minutes to set the sauce.
- Remove from the cooker and immediately slice into pieces that will fit on a slider roll.
- If you want to “jazz it up” add some slaw or tomatoes
“That’s It, Enjoy!!!
Many of us only think of grilled vegetables, fruit and seafood when entertaining in the backyard. It is truly a great way to prepare these foods but it is not the only way. Did you ever think about smoking them? Probably not and rightly so. Most foods that can be grilled can also be smoked.
Why smoke them? Well, smoking adds another element to the flavor profile of the intent food. Also, the flavor profile can be altered to “change it up” when you want to try something different.
Do you have to have a smoker? No, you can get very close to the flavor of a smoker on a gas grill. Since a gas grill only uses propane or natural gas you will have to use one of the many smoke generators available.
Here are just a few of the foods that lend themselves to smoking:
Cheese attracts smoke real well. Place the cheese on a cookie rack, place in your UNLIT grill and place the smoke generator on the grill grate. Usually 15 mins. to 1 hour is sufficient. Softer cheeses, reduce the smoke time to your desired taste. Fruit flavored smoke works best.
Potatoes do real well in a smoker. Keep the skin on and rub with vegetable oil and coat with Kosher or Himalayan salt and place in the smoker and cook till tender. Hickory and pecan works best.
Oysters are simply delicious when smoked. It is best to have moisture (water pan) under the oysters if they are closed. If you open them the moisture source is not necessary. Smoke until the oysters open but leave them on for 15 minutes longer so the smoke gets to the interior. If open allow 15 minutes on the smoke. Peach, apple and alder are perfect for oysters. Take the same approach with scallops, fish (cook to internal temp 145) and shrimp.
Hard Boiled Eggs-
Who would even think it wise to smoke hard boiled eggs? Well, they are very tasty. Boil the eggs, peel and put in the smoker for about 25-30 minutes with sugar maple, peach or apple smoke.
Smoked peaches are great by themselves or over ice cream as a desert. Half the peaches and remove the pit. Peach or apple smoke is the best. Allow the peaches to smoke for about 20 minutes.
These are just a few to start with and the only limitation is your own imagination.